Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Oilers Update - Oilers lose to Preds / Hall Out 2-4 weeks

Reporting from Castel del Piano

Last night the Edmonton Oilers suffered a 2-1 decision to the visiting Nashville Predators at Rexall Place.

The only thing great about the game was the brilliant spin move by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who then fed the biscuit to Jordan Eberle to open the scoring.  Another, highlight was when Ryan Jones was sent off for 5 with an elbow to the face of Blake Geoffrion.  Other than that...the game was a real dud for the Oilers.

"I thought our compete level had to improve.  As a team we passed up opportunities to put pucks on net and create havoc on rebounds.  It was way too easy for Nashville tonight. said Tom Renney,  "It's the NHL shoot the puck."

They were too cute and as Jordan Eberle put it the Oilers "were being too pretty" with the puck.

Though the worst news came just prior to the game when it was announced that Taylor Hall will miss up to 2-4 weeks with a shoulder injury.  Hall couldn't really describe the details about the injury, because its "too complicated".  However, he sees himself using lots of rubber bands to strengthen the shoulder but will be able to keep up his cardio during his re-hab.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Oilers Update - Avalanche Covers Oil / Hall Out

Reporting from Castel del Piano, Italy

Less than 24 hours after the Oilers quashed the haunting curse in Minnesota, the club took to the ice in Denver and were man-handled by the Av's.  

"I think maybe fatigue caught up to us, probably cost us the game at the end of the night.  We were on fumes in the third period" said Oilers coach Tom Renney whose club allowed for the Av's to drive home 4 un-answered goals in the third. 

Granted, fatigue may have been the main reason for the loss; and Oilers fans alike may take that as a reasonable excuse.  But, aside from the loss, what about the loss of Taylor Hall?  The kid was blindsided heavily into the boards by Ryan Wilson.  After the awful hit Hall stood up, shook it off like "a good-Canadian-kid" and returned to the ice.  Few shifts later Kyle Quincy decided to cross-check the youngester in the shoulder which then ended Hall's night.  

But where in the HELL was the back-up on both plays!!!??  

"Hordi, is always ready, willing and prepared to do that any time" said Renney.  "The bottom line is we're winning a hockey game and you have to be careful how you go about that, not to suggest we wouldn't do it in the future."

Excuse me.  What?????

From what I could re-call, Darcy Hordichuk just skated around the ice, spouting expletives towards Wilson, and the pair did nothing!  What is even worse, in the end, the Oilers went on to lose the game and their star forward.

"I chased him around for a couple of shifts, but he obviously didn't want to go." said Hordichuk.  "It's one of those things where you can only do what you can do...unless the game is out of hand you can go after the guy."

Did you hear me?  Allow me to repeat!  What??? is a question.  Why didn't anybody stand-up for Taylor Hall?  Had Devan Dubnyk or Nikolai Khabibulin taken a few shots from Wilson or any other player in the league...would the Oilers just stand their and watch????? 

And what about Hall's condition?

"We'll see how bad it is." said Renney, "We'll step back from the ledge, first of all and just relax and see what the MRI and the medical staff tells us."

Perfect! Don't worry Oilers fans.  Just relax, inhale, exhale and perhaps take a Rexall Chill-Pill because everything will be ok.  The calm and collected mind of Tom Renney wants you to not worry.  

Nevertheless, the Oilers were downed 5-2 and Ryan Jones and Ladislav Smid had the two goals.  Smid finally rattled the twine when he bagged home his first goal since 2009.  

The club will now head back to Edmonton to face the Predators tomorrow.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Oilers Update - Curse Shattered. Oilers Tame Wild.

Reporting from Castel del Piano, Italy

Cursed Shattered.  

The Edmonton Oilers finally defeated the Minnesota Wild on their home turf for the first time in 17 tries.   The last time the Oilers earned a "W" in St Paul's was back on January 6th 2007.

Led by Taylor Hall, Shawn Horcoff, Ryan Smyth and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the Oilers routed the Wild with a 5-2 victory.  Rookie, Nugent-Hopkins collected two goals and an empty netter to extend their win streak to 2.

"We really wanted to win this one, we wanted this streak to end and it sure does feel good.  I haven't been around for all 17 of the losses, but you can tell that every time we came in her we wanted badly for this to end. said Taylor Hall.

Recently, consistency has been a struggle for the Oilers and there were questions if the Oilers would fall into the same old patterns versus the Wild. Not so. Taylor Hall summed up the evening to suggest that his club played a nearly perfect game. 

"There has been a lot of question about how we're kind of an inconsistent team.  Tonight, we played three pretty consistent periods.  We knew we were bound to break out offensively at some time.  It's great that it's happening now.  We just have to maintain that every game."

And that is exactly what needs to happen and scoring first will usually grant you a win.  Nugent-Hopkins and Smyth put the Oilers up to two in the first which seemed to deflate the Wild.

"Right from the start we were ready for this and weren't gointo be denined. said Oilers Captian Shawn Horcoff.  "It's a different feeling this year.  We know we have the horses.  We have a confidence that when we play right we are a tough team to beat.  We can play with any team in the league."

With that being said,  the Oilers will now test their racing legs against the Colorado Avalanche tonight at the Pepsi Centre, on CBC.

Welcome Back

Defenceman Ryan Whitney stepped onto the ice to rejoin his club after missing more than a handful of games with an injury.  

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Oilers Update - Preds sink in Oil.

Reporting from Castel del Piano, Italy

They combined for 7 points!  The Kids made the Preds fall by of score of 6-2, and it only took 3 goals within a span of 6 minutes of the 1st period to put the game out of reach for Nashville.  Shawn Horcoff opened the scoring when he pounced on the rebound executed by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.  Nearly 2 minutes later, the gritty Ryan Smyth found a streaking Ales Hemsky who went glove side on Pekka Renne to pot his 2nd of the season. Late in the first, Jordan Eberle, picked up the loose puck and found the back of the net after Taylor Hall was flattened by Jordin Tootoo to make it 3 bagel Oilers.  After the 3rd goal, Pekka Renne was given the hook.

"I didn't want to continue to subject Pekka to the way we were playing. said Predators coach, Barry Trotz.  The goaltending change didn't help the Predators, which paved the way for the Oilers post another 3 more goals including; one marvelous goal by Jordan Eberle

"We had a game plan and we just didn't do it.   "We went in with what we wanted to do and in the first period we did zero of that.  We did absolutely none of what we set out to do!"

"That's what teams that are able to make the playoffs do." said Captain Shawn Horcoff who also added his second of the night with a late third period goal. " You're going to lose and you're going to play bad games but you have to be able to come back the next game and find ways to win.  This isn't an easy place to play, they come at you hard but we got it done." 

Devan Dubnyk put up a solid effort for the win and made 30 saves.  Devan was real good.  said Tom Renney about his back-up goaltender.  "He played real big, strong, sqaure.  He looked really dialed into the puck."

Ales Hemsky, played in his 500th game also added an assist in the game.  

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Oilers Update - Oilers Capped in Dallas

Reportig from Castel del Piano, Italy

You gotta fight for your right to party!  

Clearly something the Edmonton Oilers couldn't do last night when they played the rough and tough Dallas Stars in Texas.  

The game plan was simple for the Stars (which has been the same for the last couple of seasons) hit, hit, hit.  The Star destroyed the Oilers skilled players with some heavy hits which kept the young guns off of the scoring sheet. 

"With our assets there are ways to beat teams who come after us that way.  We have to make sure we play as physically as we possibly can.  When we're healthy we have enough to push back too, but there are ways with speed and quickness to intimidate teams too." said Head Coach Tom Renney.  

So...where was the push back? 

"They played more of a road game than we did.  They were physical, they got in on the forecheck, made us turn pucks over.  Just wore us down."  said Jordan Eberle who was creamed in the first 3 minutes of the game.  Shawn Horcoff, Theo Peckham and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also felt the wrath of the Dallas physical play when they were all embarrassingly flattened.

After Ex Oiler Toby Peterson opened the scoring for the Stars, Oilers Ryan Smyth nearly tied the game when he missed on a wrap-around opportunity.  After, his failed attempt the Stars picked up the loose puck somehow found the back of the Oilers net, when Mike Riberio found Steve Ott in slot to make it 2-0.

The Oilers came back when Nugent-Hopkins collected a pass from Jordan Eberle and then precisely placed the puck to earn his 8th of the season.  However, less than a minute later, the Oilers were looking to close the gap to 2, but a collision between Theo Peckam and Ales Hemsky, allowed for a 3 on 1 opportunity for the Stars and Micheal Ryder made no mistake to beat Nikolai Khabibulin on the ensuing play.

Radek Dvorak scored an empty netter to seal the victory for the Stars.

The Oilers will now face the Nashville Predators this Tuesday.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Oilers Update - Blackhawks downed. Oilers Snap 4 game losing skid

Reporting from Castel del Piano, Italy

It was embarrassing for the visitors as the Chicago Blackhawks were thumped 9-2 against the Edmonton Oilers last night at Rexall Place.

"It's personally embarrasing, I want to play better than that.  We have to remember how bad this feels because we don't want it to happen again." said Chicago's goaltender Ray Emery who let in 7 of 9 goals before being replaced by Corey Crawford.  

Leading the charge was sophomore Taylor Hall who recorded his second career hat-trick, while rookie Ryan Nugent-Hopkins earned a career game high by collecting 5 assists during the thrashing.  

"It definitely gives us confidence, it's great we won all three periods.  It's easy to let off the gas pedal, but we didn't." said Hall after his club snapped a four game slide.   

 And why ease off the gas pedal after scoring 5 goals in the 1st?  It was clear that the Oilers needed to press hard with offense in order to put to rest a tired Chicago team, who one day earlier lost to the Flames.

"The way we won, I think everyone chipped in.  And on an individual note you always want to focus on how your own game is going and to score three goals coming out of a slump like that definitely gives me some confidence." said Hall.

The Oilers who have been struggling to find the back of the net received points from the usual suspects with Jordan Eberle who had a goal and three assists while, Shawn Horcoff, Ryan Smyth and Ryan Jones found the score sheet.  Even Tom Gilbert decided to post post four points of his own including a goal.  Last night's contest eerily felt akin to those magical days when  #17 fed #99 to light the lamp for imminent win.

But after their 4 game slide, what stimulated the sudden change in play?

"We had a couple of good days off and just re-grouped.  We knew we needed to be better and that's exactly what we did.  Games like that are definitely fun when the puck is bouncing your way and everybody is flying. said Nugent-Hopkins.

Nikolai Khabibulin was solid once again for the Oilers as kicked aside 34 saves to earn his 8th win.

The Trick

Two of Hall's goals were on the power-play where he pounced on both rebounds.  His third was a beauty when wristed a shot between the wickets of Steve Montator to find the top shelf.  The last time Hall scored a hat-trick was back February of last year vs the now defunct Atlanta Thrashers

Point Leaders.

Smyth and Nugent-Hopkins each now have 19 points while Eberle is two points behind the aforementioned players with 17.  Hall's trick boosts scoring 14 points.

The Oilers will now face Sheldon Souray and his Dallas Stars in Texas this Monday.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Oilers Update - Sens trounce Oilers 5-2

4th Straight Loss.

The Edmonton Oilers couldn't find a way to snap their losing streak as they were steam-rolled by the visiting Ottawa Senators last night in Edmonton 5-2.

Nikolai Khabibulin started the game but was then yanked in the second period after letting in 3 goals on 7 seven shots.  Devan Dubnyk replaced the Russian net-minder, but the change in goal wasn't enough to rally a comeback.  Though, the loss didn't really phase the Oilers Head coach who understands the nature of process and that it can be a long one.

We are in for another long season Oilers fans.

"We had a good first period going and then it all went kaput."  said head coach Tom Renney.  "You can get mad, but there's a lot of hockey to be played.  This is coaching, the fun part, is trying to extract what you can out of your team and finding ways to win."

Sophomore forward Taylor Hall wasn't as relaxed as his coach after the loss. The blames is squarely pointed to the fowards and their inability score, but there are other things which need to be solved in the next few games if the Oilers want to have any sort of success this season.

"It was like after they scored those two goals we said 'screw it' and decided to follow our own game plans'.  There are holes in our game we need to fix and fix fast.  Losing streaks can define you.  said Hall.

The only bright side was when rookie Anton Lander scored his first goal of his career.  Lander roofed a short-handed goal past, goaltender Craig Anderson.

"Right now it's hard to feel too good about it since we lost, but I know I'll remember the goal."
 said Lander.

Coming up "Oh I remember that!"

Monday, November 14, 2011

Oilers Update - Blown away in the Windy City

Reporting from Castel del Piano, Italy

The Chicago Blackhawks blew out the Edmonton Oilers last night by a score of 6-3 at the United Centre.  The Oilers have now lost 3 straight and are sinking fast in the standings as Head Coach Tom Renney pointed the finger towards his young club for their dreadful performance.  

"I don't think they realize yet what it takes to win on a nightly basis.  We have a couple rungs to go and it starts in your own head.  We understand the depth of the people we're playing and the experience they've had with winning and we're still working on that.  But there's no excuses.  We needed to man up tonight and we didn't do it." said Renney.

Be Quick or Be Dead.

After two quick goals by the Hawks' Towes and Montador in less than 5 minutes of the opening face-off, Tom Renney called a time-out to settle his troops, but it appeared as though that the damage was beyond repairable.  

Ryan Smyth continued with his hot hand by scoring his 10th goal of the season to earn his 17th point in 17 games.  His tally cut the lead by half in the first, but Montador extended the lead for Chicago when he tipped in his second goal of the night.

22 ticks into the second frame, Towes put his team up by 3 when he tucked home is second of the night to seal the victory.

Jordan Eberle and Shawn Horcoff each had goals but it wasn't enough to stop the relentless Hawks.  

The Edmonton Oilers ended their 6 game road trip with an 2 and 4 record and will now fly home to face the Ottawa Senators this Thursday.  However, the club will face the same Blackhawks this Saturday for a Hockey Night in Canada tilt.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Oilers Update - Detroit Rocks Oilers

Reporting from Levanto, Italy

It really took one goal to beat the Edmonton Oilers as they lost to the Detroit Red Wings in Michigin.  A tired, battered group suffered their second loss in row after getting blanked 3-0. 

Goaltender Jimmy Howard was the hero for his club as he managed to stop all 24 of Edmonton's shots to earn the victory; while Drew Miller, Niklas Kronwall and Valtteri Filppula each had goal.  

"I don't know what happened.  We didn't create that many chances ourselves." said Ladislav Smid.  " We didn't play smart.  We didn't shoot the puck when we had the chance.  Tough one.  Tough on." 

And to think that Khabibulin was going to bail them out.  The Bulin-Wall who has been the surprize top goaltender since the season started began to show some cracks in the mortar.  Though how could one blame the loss on just one player.  Where is the offense?

"He was the same he's been all season. said Head Coach Tom Renney of Khabibulin.  "I think we gave the Red Wings all they could handle for a about half the game, then we had a hard time keeping up with them once they got rolling with some momentum."

The Oilers will now face the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Centre which will be their 4th game in six days on the road.  

Friday, November 11, 2011

Oilers Update - Ruined by Bruins

Reporting from Levanto, Italy.

2 days after the Edmonton Oilers held off the Montreal Canadiens, the Oilers found themselves in Bean Town to face the Champs. Though it didn't go so well.  The Oilers were destroyed by the physical prowess of the Bruins falling to a 6-3 decision. 

Brad Marchand put up 2 goals while Tyler Sequin earned an assist to help give the Bruins their 4 straight win.

After being down by 2 goals in early in the game, Ryan Smyth and Nugent-Hopkins scored 29 seconds apart to tie the game but the Bruins stormed back in the second with 2 goals to seal the win.

"Maybe we sat back a gave them too much respect off the start.  said Smyth who now has 14 points.  "We can respect them but we can't fear them.  After the timeout, we showed some character but tis' difficult to play catch-up agains the Stanley Cup Champs."

Ales Hemsky added 2 assists, while Deven Dubnyk set aside 22 shots in the loss.

Tonight, the Edmonton Oilers will head to the Motor City for a tilt against the Detroit Red Wings.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Oilers Update - Oilers defeat Habs.

Reporting from Milan, Italy

After having their 6 game winning streak snapped by the Phoenix Coyotes, the Edmonton Oilers rolled Montreal for a tilt against the Canadiens and defeat the Habs by a score of 3-1.

Edmonton's Ryan Jones opened the scoring in the second period when he picked up a loose puck and went in all alone on goaltender Carey Price  and slipped home his 3rd goal of the season. 

In the third, defenceman Tom Gilbert's wrister from the point ricocheted off Hab's defenceman Josh George's stick to put the Oilers up by two.

Moments later, the Canadiens finally found a hole in the Bulin-Wall when Matt Pacioretty fooled the Russian net-mind with a backhand. 

2-1 Oilers.

With the net empty for the Hab's, Ryan Smyth found his 13th point of the season when found the open cage to seal the victory for the Oilers.

All about Khabby.

Once again the deciding factor of the game was the play of Nikolai Khabibulin. The 38 year-old kicked aside 29 shots and the win boosts Khabby's  SV% to .964 (2nd in NHL) and is tops in NHL with GAA of .098.

"Great goaltending gave us a chance.  Khabby's been playing superb all year.  In the third they (the Canadiens) had some chances but we found a way to hold on.  It was a good road win. said Smyth about his goaltender.

Smyth wasn't the only player to notice Khabibulin's brilliant play.  Former Oiler, Erik Cole and Co., couldn't solve Khabibulin despite some point blank chances late in the third. 

"We had a lot of opportunities to score, but Khabibulin played well and we weren't able to cash in on a lot of really good opportunities." said Cole.

"They have the best goals against in the league." said Jacques Martin.  "They  are a good team with a lot of speed and talent, but we dominated them in scoring chances.  You're disappointed with the score, but it wasn't a lack of effort or execution."

The Oilers will now head into Bean Town for a game against the defending champions, Boston Bruins.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Oilers Update - Streak Snapped - Oilers fall to Coyotes

Reporting from Milan, Italy

The winning streak dried up in the desert as the Edmonton Oilers were doubled up by the Phoenix Coyotes last night in Glendale AZ by a score of 4-2.

“We really had to muster everything to get ourselves back in the game which we did, but at the end of the day they were a little more precise than we were and we flirted with the puck too much.  That cost us the game."  said coach Oilers coach Tom Renney.

With the Coyotes up by two goals, rookie phenom Ryan Nugent-Hopkins found the back of the net with a tip-in to earn his 6th goal of the year.  However, the Coyotes stormed back 2 minutes later (which appeared to foreshadow an imminent win for the Desert Dogs);  when Gordon slipped a backhand past Devan Dubnyk.

Oilers Defenseman Theo Peckham earned his first goal of the season to bring the Oilers with-in one for the second time of the game.  However, with Dubnyk on the bench for he 6th man, Coyotes Ray Whitney sealed the win with an empty netter to help snap the Oilers 6 game winning streak.

Mike Smith held for the fort for the Coyotes as he kicked aside 24 saves and also added an assist during the victory.   At the other end, Deven Dubnyk managed to keep his club within striking reach by absorbing 26 saves.

Jordan Eberle and Ryan Smyth added helpers in the loss.  Smyth now has 12 points in 13 games for the copper and blue. 

Struggling, Swedish forward Magnus Paajarvi finally posted his point of the season after going 12 games with out a tally. 

The Oilers will continue their 6 game road swing as they will face the infamous Montreal Canadiens next Tues in Montreal.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Oilers Update - "Oh I remember that!" Ryan Smyth Returns

Reporting from Milan, Italy.

Sorry folks.  It has been 2 weeks since the last time I did the weekly "Oh I remember that!" but what can I say...I have been busy traveling and having fun in Germany and I simply haven't had the time.

Without further adieu here is the latest installment featuring Ryan Smyth!


Well primarily because "Captain Canada" has been one of the most impressive players for his club since the start of this season.  At the present moment, Smyth is now tied with fellow teammate Ryan Nugent-Hopkins with 11 points in 12 games. Since coming back to Edmonton a couple of months ago, #94 has showed more than just "heart n' soul". 

Welcome Back Ryan Smyth.

Here is a video montage of Smyth's return to Edmonton!

Oilers Update - Check Mate. Oilers defeat Kings

Reporting from Milan, Italy

Make that...6!?  

Ryan Smyth entered Staples Centre for first time since he demanded a trade back to Edmonton only a few months ago and during his return to LA LA Land, Captian Canada post a goal to help his "orginal club" to a 3-0 victory over the L.A .Kings.  Since returning to Edmonton, Smyth has been one of the most impressive players for the Copper and Blue. 

After playing 12 games this season, Smytty currently shares the club with 11 points along side with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

"The difference I see on a daily basis is the dig in for each other.  We are relentless for each other." said Smyth after the game.  "The team dug in and played a gritty game.  Obviously, Khabby played excellent and shut the door."

Location Location Location.

Smyth's play up to this point has been nothing but brilliant yet, make no mistake the recent resurgence of Ryan Smyth can be squarely pointed to his love-affair with the city of Edmonton; as noted by coach Tom Renney.  Perhaps one can say that the frequency of Edmonton matches Smyth like a glove to a stick.

"With all due respect to L.A. and Ryan's time here, which was great, he's an Oiler.  He loves Edmonton and he loves the people of Edmonton and he loves his tenure there previous to this.  But has nothing but great respect for the L.A. Kings and the organization and what they were able to do for him.  At the end of the day, he's an Oiler and he's a leader because of that.  He means an awful lot to us." said Renney

Another brick in the wall.

The Bulin-Wall put up a his second shut-out of the season by making 19 saves of the evening, besting Kings goaltender, Jonathan Quick's 24 save performance.

"I definitely feel a lot better.  After the surgery last year I was sore and achey and I thought that was a the I was supposed to feel.  But a year away from the last September, I feel so much bvetter now overall and that is helping a lot." said the Russian Netminder.

Lennart Petrell scored his first goal as an Edmonton Oiler when he beat Quick with a backhand to put the Oilers up by two after Smyths tally.

Corey Potter also added his name to the score sheet in the third period after hammering home a pass from Sam Gagner.  Potter now has two goals of the season. 

Game Streak  to 6!  

After last night's win the Oilers are now sitting 3rd over-all in the league with 18 points - just one shy point behind the Pittsburgh Penguins and first place Toronto Maple Leafs. 

The last time the Edmonton Oilers put together a long winning streak happened on March 14th 2002.  In that year, the club posted 9 wins in a row.  

The Oilers will now head to Phoenix to try to improve their winning streak 7 as they face the Desert Dogs this Saturday.